In August of 2007, I decided to go a year without cheese. I had just gotten my cholesterol report back from the doctor; and I'm overweight by some 20 lbs.
In the early '80s or '90s I read about an actress who lost weight by a simple "no cheese" diet. Uncomplicated, and not excessively sacrificial or forbidding. Simple. Merely not eating cheese.
After one year of that, and making no other lifestyle changes, I had dropped 10 pounds. Now I'm doing it again. This time I'm experiencing even greater social pressure to eat cheese. People overreact; waitstaff raise their eyebrows.
Then, I was not a fanatic. I recall two or three pizzas I allowed myself during that year. Maybe one or two other violations such as a broccoli casserole serving at Thanksgiving. But I quit buying the stuff and pretty much quit it for the year.
I drink skim milk, eat yogurt, cook with butter. I don't eat a lot of sour cream, but it's allowed. Just cheese.
I ate less fast food in those days, cheese experiment or not. Nowadays, I eat out a bit more. It has become a challenge to go cheeseless, but I have. It's interesting how much easier it is to judge the quality of the burger, without the cheese. I am becoming a fan of the slaw-and chili burger.
Just like last time, I allow myself a couple of exceptions occasionally. I had tacos with cheese for my birthday, and have had one frozen pizza since August. Next pizza will be pepperoni and mushroom and olive, no cheese. I eat a lot of tacos and other Mexican food, and order them all without cheese. A lunch wagon pulled up where I work recently and I asked the lady what she had without cheese. With a worried look, she rifled through her stash of lunch and said, "They all have cheese!" She talked me into getting a taco and simply removing the cheese, which I did. She gave me a price break!
I've been all over the internet reading various others' tales of no cheese. Almost every one of them expresses big regrets: we love the stuff. Vegans, vegetarians, dieters and cholesterol-lowerers, lactose intolerent, candida and yeast sufferers, and low-thyroid people. They are mostly expressing a melancholy sadness relating to this sacrifice. It seems to be difficult, a "last thing on the list" that they were able to quit; the thing they love the most.
A humorous take on the "Cheesocracy."
I've lost some weight already, but have not been on scales yet. More on this when I find some and weigh myself.